Review: KTeas Orange Spice Black Tea

Black Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Ginger Tea, KTeas, Orange Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Peeling this tea, the natural gingery orange scent balanced with bright, toasty flavour is certainly appealing, but it seems to lack punch. The orange zest brings some perk, the peel brings a bit of a poke, so light, the vanilla chimes behind for a sense of sweet cream and the spice is nice but just not that peppy. "
Raven’s Teaview: 6.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, Dan gave it 7.0/10, Geoff gave it 6.8/10, Erika gave it 7/10
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kteaslogoCaught in up in the hooplah with flavour A.D.D, sometimes one can forget about the classics. So it is a special kind of lovely to revisit the classics to remember why they are in fact classical combinations rather than mustering through cilantro durian flavoured teas. The combination of orange, black tea and spice seems almost as old as tea itself as it is such an illicit mix it would definitely make the hit list for a flavoured tea Hall of Fame. Yes, orange, spice black tea is almost as beautiful a pairing as orange and vanilla. So, seeing Kteas Orange spice which brings together cinnamon, ginger, orange, black tea and vanilla, it seemed better than the most comfortable slippers.
With visions of creamsicles and decorative pomanders dancing through my head, the leaves of the tea seem a bit low key. A relatively uniformly sized array of woody black tea leaves and stems in CTC style surround the occasional quarter inch beige chunk of ginger and yellowy beige orange peel. Although the mix doesn’t look so vibrant, the medium spicy orange scent is colourful. Brimming with natural orange scents, ginger’s warmth hums underneath while a light vanilla smooths out the pair. The naturalness of the orange is lovely like the essence of the orange rind rather than a jello or soda like orange. Nor is it a very sweet smell as the spice, orange and black tea seem to contribute relatively equally to the medium bouquet. The spice is subtle, seeming to be mostly ginger with a lighter sense of cinnamon that come together with the black tea to smell of allspice. The vanilla is the mildest member of the bunch, offering more of a vanilla bean hint of creaminess through the earthy notes of the black tea rather than having a pronounced white vanilla or marshmallow scent. While the bouquet is delightful and classy , it has a restrained harmony that I thought from the name would have had a bit more punch of spice or orange or vanilla but then again it may be the A.D.D.
Without any distractions, I brewed the tea as recommended on the Kteas website using three grams or two level teaspoons with boil,ing water for 4 minutes, smack dab in the middle of the three to five they suggest. The brew is just as refined as the smell, resembling dark tobacco or leather in its slate brown tones. As the infusion reclines into the cup, the scent is luxurious, relaxing into a medium bouquet of the black tea with nice orange notes reinforced by a dispersed background of ginger and cinnamon. Toasty and lemon scented, the black tea predominates in the aroma while unifying the blend with its citrus and honeysuckle notes. There is a light scent of vanilla ice cream that seems to fall more on the floral vanilla character as it combines with the black tea to have a wild honey type sweetness yet it isn’t a very sweet smell overall. The orange aroma has the pleasant touches of fresh oranges with a bit of creaminess from the vanilla but the scent isn’t as angelic as the dry leaves with a grittier contribution from the pith of the orange peel. The spices meld lovely into the bouquet if rather subdued, adding a gentle warmth and bit of sweetness. Peeling into the cup, the tea has a bright perk amidst the grainy flavours of the black tea, blending beautifully like only citrus can do. However, it does deliver orange, rather than just a neutral citrus, with the natural orange rind lift to the mineral leafy flavours of the black tea, although the orange flavour isn't as pure as orange zest alone, as the white pith also comes through in the cup. Yet the light ginger seems to smooth out any roughness, bringing the black tea and orange in harmony while one catches light vanilla extract notes from the aroma between sips. A pleasant orange lingers in the breath on the aftertaste after a short finish, although very little spice is left to savour over. The tea is slightly astringent but the bit of bitterness doesn't detract from the brew.
The bitterness doesn't extend to the second infusion that displays a charming darker, slightly hazy mahogany cup. I extended the steeping times to five minutes to see if a longer steeping might help coax out more spice or vanilla from the leaves. Although the richness of the flavour of the tea still mellows from the first cup, it seems nicer with more ginger soothing through the darling light to medium aroma of orange rind and wheat from the black tea. Despite the longer steeping, the tea still isn't bitter while it seems a bit sweeter from the extra dash of spice while having a light dryness. Not too surprisingly, in a third five minute infusion, the cinnamon comes through more with some ginger which is the main delight of the brew along with a dry pep where only a very light orange aroma mingles with trace mineral flavours of the black tea.
This tasty combination does catch one's attention with its harmony of fresh orange and black tea toastiness. This verve with the subtlety of the spice and the vanilla, seem like the blend could make a fine morning brew to get one focused on their day.

— To purchase KTeas Orange Spice Black Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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